NU Online News Service, Sept. 9, 1:05 p.m. – The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, is introducing the Stag Universal Life Plus policy, a new universal life insurance policy.

UL policies, which pay a fixed rate of return, lost ground to variable-universal life policies, which offer access to stock-based investment options, in the 1990s, when the U.S. financial markets were soaring. Now, customers are more interested in fixed rates of return, Hartford says.

But Hartford is encouraging purchasers of the new UL policy to return to the VUL fold, by giving them the right to exchange the UL policy for a VUL policy within the first five policy years without evidence of insurability.

The new UL policy also comes with a no-lapse guarantee that guarantees coverage to age 100 for a predetermined level premium. Policyholders who reach age 100 can extend their coverage indefinitely.

Another option, an estate-tax repeal rider, will let policyholders surrender their policies without paying surrender charges in January 2011 if there is no federal estate tax that year.

Hartford is issuing the policy through its Hartford Life Insurance Company and Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Company units.